April 17, 2017

Brexit Raises Question Mark Over UK’s Role in Some European Space Projects (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
The future participation of major segments of Britain’s space industry in Europe’s Galileo navigation system and Copernicus environmental network, two multibillion-dollar flagship programs with dozens of satellites, is sure to be a significant part of negotiations as the UK withdraws from the European Union, according to a member of the European Commission.

European officials want to rely on producers within the European Union for the block’s major programs, according to Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Commission’s senior space official. Britain’s departure from the EU could leave some of the country’s space companies locked out of the Galileo and Copernicus programs, officials said.

Britain’s future role in space projects managed by the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is “one chapter of the negotiations that will be really important for the UK, from their perspective, because they have quite a powerful industry and they participate in our programs,” Bieńkowska said. (4/15)

Florida Technology Industry Added Nearly 9,600 Jobs in 2016 (Source: Florida Trend)
Florida's technology industry employment grew by an estimated 3.1 percent in 2016 as employers added nearly 9,600 new jobs, according to Cyberstates 2017™, the definitive annual analysis of the nation's tech industry released today by CompTIA, the world's leading technology association.

With an estimated 318,343 workers, Florida ranks fourth among the 50 states for tech industry employment. Technology occupations across all other industries in Florida – the second component of the tech workforce – reached an estimated 318,000. The tech sector accounts for an estimated 6.1 percent ($54.2 billion) of the overall Florida economy. (4/3)

Factories of the Future Could Float in Space (Source: Popular Science)
This past summer, a plane went into a stomach-churning ascent and plunge 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The goal was not thrill-seeking, but something more genuinely daring: for about 25 seconds at a time, the parabolic flight lifted the occupants into a state of simulated weightlessness, allowing a high-tech printer to spit out cardiac stem cells into a two-chambered, simplified structure of an infant’s heart.

Impressive though this may be, it’s just a brick in the road toward an even bolder goal. Executives at nScrypt (the makers of the stem cell printer), Bioficial Organs (the ink provider), and Techshot (who thought up the heart experiment) are planning to print beating heart patches aboard the International Space Station by 2019. The printer will fly up on a commercial rocket.

Private spaceflight companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX have been criticized as vanity projects for plutocrats surfing on taxpayer investments. But the emergence of these companies has led to nose-diving prices for sending goods and equipment into space. (4/15)

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